Who Gets the Marital Home in a Divorce in Arizona?
For some couples getting divorced is relatively easy. They were only married a couple of years ago. They have no children and no assets to speak of. For other couples, things aren’t so easy. You may have children and a ton of assets. It can take your Arizona divorce attorney months to get things straightened out. That’s why you should see them as soon as possible after you’ve filed your divorce petition. Here, we’ll talk about what you can do with the biggest asset you have – the marital home. If you still have questions, you can always call and speak with one of our experienced Arizona divorce attorneys.
Did One of the Spouses Bring the Home into the Marriage?
Depending on when you got married, one or both of you may have brought property into the marriage. You both may have entered the marriage with little to no assets. If this is the case, you won’t have to worry about selling or losing your marital home. For the rest of you, it’s important that you protect your interests. Don’t wait too long to hire an Arizona divorce attorney. The goal is to work out an arrangement that is fair for both parties. Your attorney can then approach your spouse’s lawyer to find out where they stand.
You Can Buy Your Spouse’s Share of the Home
If you want to keep the marital home for yourself, you have a few options. If there’s no mortgage or encumbrance on the property, all your spouse has to do is sign the deed over to. If there is a loan on the house, then you can pay your spouse their share of the equity. For example, if you owe $200,000 on the house and it’s worth $500,000, you have approximately $300,000 in equity. Each of you are entitled to half of that – $150,000. In order for you to keep the home, you’d have to pay your spouse their share of $150,000. You could also refinance the home and pull out $150,000 in equity so you can pay your spouse.
You and Your Spouse Can Negotiate a Settlement
If you can’t buy your spouse out of the marital home, there is another option. You can negotiate a deal with your spouse where you keep the house, and your spouse is credited their share. For example, the $150,000 equity could be paid in lieu of alimony. Or you can let your spouse have things like cars and boats. Any way you can tradeoff the money your spouse is entitled to from the house should work. Of course, there are times when this isn’t an option. You could the one paying alimony. That means you won’t have the luxury of trading alimony for the marital home. In situations like this, you would likely have to sell the home, split the proceeds and go your separate ways.
Sit Down with an Arizona Divorcee Attorney Before You Agree to Anything
Depending on which one of you filed, your spouse may have an attorney before you do. Their attorney may present you with a property settlement agreement. Don’t sign this until your Arizona divorce attorney has a chance to review it. The court is going to include this agreement as part of the official record. You don’t want to put your name on something that could be one-sided. At least let a lawyer read it and let you know if it’s fair or if you should demand changes. All you need to do first is call our office and talk to one of our skilled Arizona divorce attorneys.